Legalism in the Church Essay

Submitted By Lemonhearts
Words: 968
Pages: 4

English 101
5 March 2014
Legalism in the Church In today’s society, Legalism is a major issue within the church. Legalism is the idea that good works and keeping God’s commandments will help you enter into the Kingdom of God. Yes, it is good to keep God’s laws, and yes, Jesus spoke, “If you love me, then you will keep my commandments” (English Standard Version, John 14.15), but He did not say that keeping these commands would help you achieve salvation. Legalism is not only a false doctrine, but it rips and breaks churches apart; thus, one must realize how to reform and restrain from Legalism. Legalism breaks up the Church in so many ways. First, if a church is involved in Legalism, then the majority of the attention will be focused merely on obeying God’s law. This is a disillusion. “Obedience to the Law of God is, of course, a true Christian ideal, but Christianity (through Jesus) has restored the Law to its proper place. It is neither the first nor the last concern for the Christian believer” (De Vries 18). When Christians’ main concern with the Church is obeying God’s law, this leads to discouragement and confusion because all men are fallen; thus, there is no way that everyone can live a perfect life. All men are going to fall short of the glory of God; when people are set to certain standards that perfection is the only way to achieve salvation, it discourages people into a mindset that they will never enter into Heaven and that God will never be pleased with them. Because of this discouragement and confusion, people are only driven further away from the church and from truly forgiving love of God. Legalism also causes strife among churches due to the misconceptions of God’s word. Many churches around the world have fallen into this belief and have become separated from the love of God. Legalism is a false doctrine that has corrupted and negatively influenced many Churches today. Still, to this day, mankind still believes that God’s acceptance comes from their good works instead of His pure and unfailing love. However, Jesus spoke, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (New International Version, Eph. 2.8). When Jesus came to earth, His mission was ultimately to die on the cross for men’s sins in order to pave the way for God to have an eternal relationship with His creations. Mankind has been given this gift of eternal life graciously and it should be used in order to show the world that legalistic values will only end in failure. So, no matter what man accomplishes in life, he cannot make God love us anymore than He already does. He already loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us so that we could have eternal life. Jesus already paid the price on the cross, and because He did that, we do not have to do anything else to acquire His acceptance. Church should be a place about accepting God’s love, not worrying about how we can get Him to love us because He already does. To accomplish a place in which Legalism does not exist, one must understand the concept of how it is false. “We are the people of the Father because we are the people of Jesus through the one Spirit who is God. Without keeping this in mind, we will lose the unity of God and, by consequences, the unity of people of God” (Borght 250). Without understanding who we are in Christ and what He has done for us, we will lose the unity if the people…